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Joan Didion: Crafting An Elegy For Her Daughter

Two years after the death of her husband, Joan Didion suffered the untimely loss of her only daughter. She pieces together her memories of Quintana Roo in her new memoir, Blue Nights.
NPR

Michael Kahn On Directing Theater, Ditching Exams

Michael Kahn began directing plays as a child, and since then has become one of the most respected directors in classical theater. He formerly taught at New York's famed Julliard School. Now he's celebrating his 25 years leading the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C. He speaks with Michel Martin about casting more actors of color, boosting culture in Washington and causing trouble as a college student.
NPR

Condi Rice Talks Freedom, War, Working For Bush

Former Secretary of State and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice was among the head architects of the way America responded to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. She was also at the center of divisive debates within the George W. Bush administration. In her new memoir No Higher Honor, she defends and explains Bush's decision to engage in war in Iraq, and shares how her work took a toll on her personal life. She speaks with host Michel Martin.
NPR

Interrupting Violence With The Message 'Don't Shoot'

Criminologist David M. Kennedy's strategy for reducing gang violence has dramatically reduced youth homicide rates nationwide. In his new memoir, Don't Shoot, Kennedy outlines how community meetings and interventions have worked to curb youth violence in more than 70 cities.
NPR

Tom Waits: The Fresh Air Interview

The darkness of Tom Waits' lyrics is accentuated by the rumble and rasp of his voice, which sounded old even when he was young. On Bad Like Me, Waits reflects on loneliness, life, death and heartbreak. Here, he talks to Terry Gross about performing, being a father and writing his haunting melodies.
NPR

Invasion Of The Mind-Controlling Zombie Parasites

A few months back, something terrible happened to millions of flies around Washington, D.C. They were attacked by a fungus that basically made them zombies, unable to control their behavior. and flies are far from the only vulnerable creatures out there.
NPR

Official: No 'Silver Bullet' To Solve Housing Crisis

Raphael Bostic, the architect of President Obama's refinancing plan, says the plan has the potential to help millions of homeowners take advantage of historically low mortgage rates. But that alone won't heal the ailing housing market.
NPR

Scott Spencer: Plot Twists, Where Everything Changes

Many of Spencer's novels feature a turning point — a dreadful, unplanned act committed by one of the characters. In his latest book, Man in the Woods, a carpenter accidentally kills a man, which leads him to question himself and his relationship with God.
NPR

A Stone Carver's Daughter Tells Of Mount Rushmore

Luigi Del Bianco was the chief stone carver on the Mount Rushmore monument, working for years to bring the presidents' faces to life in stone. He gave Abraham Lincoln's face many of its details, in the project that ended 70 years ago. But to his family, Del Bianco was a modest, loving patriarch.
NPR

David Carr: The News Diet Of A Media Omnivore

David Carr, who writes the Media Equation column for The New York Times, says that despite cuts, the future of journalism has never looked brighter. "I look at my backpack that is sitting here and it contains more journalistic firepower than the entire newsroom that I walked into 30-40 years ago," he says.

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